The cumulative lending, grant, and technical assistance commitments of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to the Philippines for more than five decades have reached $19.3 billion, a document released by the multilateral bank agency showed.
According to the ADB’s latest Fact Sheet on the Philippines, bulk of the cumulative lending, grant, and technical assistance from 1966 to end-2018 to the Philippines went to public sector management, with a share of 26.54 percent.
This is followed by the energy; and finance with shares of 17.67 percent and 12.13 percent, respectively.
ADB is one of the country’s largest sources of official development assistance, with average annual lending of about $800 million over the past 10 years, the document states.
“The bank’s cumulative assistance to the Philippines has reached $19.3 billion in public sector loans, grants, and technical assistance,” the ADB said.
“Cumulative loan and grant disbursements to the Philippines amount to $14.72 billion. These were financed by regular and concessional ordinary capital resources, and other special funds,” it added.
The Philippines is not only the ADB’s founding member, but also its host country.
In 2018 alone, the committed loans, grants, and technical assistance of the ADB to the Philippines amounted to $1.4 billion.
For this year, the ADB said it is rolling out its biggest investment in the Philippines—the Malolos–Clark Railway Project.
The project will construct 53 km of railway line to connect Metro Manila to the regional business center in Clark and the Clark International Airport.
“The new rail line will provide affordable, reliable, and safe public transport; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and cut travel time by 50 percent to less than one hour,” the bank said.
The ADB said that the Malolos–Clark Railway Project will be one of several projects and programs in a pipeline expected to reach around $3 billion for 2019.
“Lending operations for the year focus on climate resilient infrastructure development to meet expanding demand and raise the country’s competitiveness,” the ADB said.
“Phased initiatives to improve local governance, youth employment, economic corridor planning, urbanization and regional connectivity, access to finance, and effective disaster risk management complete the planned development program for the Philippines,” it added. (ANGELA CELIS, Malaya)